6 Elements of Subleasing You Must Understand

The need may have arisen for you to contemplate subleasing your rented residence, be it an apartment, condo, or single family residence. No matter the underlying reason for subleasing your residence, it is vital for you to conduct appropriate due diligence in advance of subleasing. In this regard, there are six elements of subleasing that you must pay particular attention to in order to fully protect your legal interests. 

Review the Terms and Conditions of Your Lease 

The most fundamental step that you need to take when contemplating subleasing your residence is to thoroughly review your lease agreement. The reality is that the terms and conditions of your agreement delineate whether or not you will be able to enter it a sublease agreement in the first instance. 

There are three general derivations of lease terms commonly in existence when it comes to subleasing. First, a good percentage of lease agreements prohibit subleasing all together. The bottom line is that a landlord does not want to increase risks by permitting a tenant the ability to bring someone else onto the premises as a subtenant. 

Second, another fairly significant percentage of lease agreements permit subleasing with landlord approval. These types of lease agreements are further broken down into two categories. These are rental agreements that necessitate the approval of the tenant for a sublease with a specific individual. There are lease agreements that require only landlord approval for subleasing generally. 

Finally, there are lease agreements that provide a tenant the ability to sublease. All the tenant must do is advise the landlord that he or she intends to enter into a sublease. Usually, these agreements require a tenant to provide contact information for a subtenant once a sublease has been entered into between the tenant and someone else. 

If you find that you have any questions about your lease agreement and how it relates to the possibility to sublease, consider consulting with an attorney. There are lawyers that specialize in landlord and tenant and real estate law and can assist you in understanding the terms and conditions of your lease agreement. 

Review the Landlord and Tenant Law in Your State 

In addition to closely and thoroughly reviewing an existing lease, you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the landlord and tenant laws in your state. In this regard, you need to specifically focus on what legally must be included in a sublease agreement. 

State statutes will also delineate the rights of an original landlord, the original tenant, and the subtenant when a sublease arrangement is created. It is important for you to fully understand your rights and obligations as they relate to the other parties to the lease and sublease agreement. 

As with the lease agreement, if there are items in the landlord and tenant law that you do not understand, consult with legal counsel. A landlord and tenant lawyer can assist you in fully understanding the important terms of the landlord and tenant law. 

Talk to Your Landlord 

Open lines of communication are vital when it comes to landlord and tenant relationships. This certainly is true when there is a desire to enter into a sublease. The last thing you want to do is to leave your landlord feeling blindsided by your decision to sublease your rental property. Blindside your landlord will only make your desire to sublet your home far more complicated. 

Even if the lease grants you broad authority to enter into a sublease, you absolutely need to be proactive and advise you landlord of your intentions. In a situation in which the lease agreement prohibits subleasing, you might be able to persuade your landlord to reconsider. You would need a written addendum to the lease agreement in order to obtain the legal ability to enter into a sublease. 

Screen a Prospective Subtenant 

Odds are that before your landlord entered into a lease agreement with you, your landlord undertook and credit and background check on you. You need to do the same if you elect to sublease. The only possible exception is if you truly do know the person who wants to sublease very well. 

Bear in mind that even if you elect to forgo a credit and background check when subleasing, the landlord may want to undertake these verifications. Indeed, a lease permits subleasing, odds are strong that there will be a clause in the rental agreement giving the landlord authority to run a credit and background check, and approve the prospective subtenant, before a sublease can be entered into between the tenant and someone else. 

Obtain a Security Deposit from the Subtenant 

Even if you have a close relationship with a prospective subtenant, at the beginning of the sublease you will want to collect a security deposit. Even when subleasing to family or a friend, you nonetheless must protect your essential interests. For example, if something is damaged at the premises by the person who subleases, you want to have the option to readily access money in the form of a deposit to repair the issue. 

Remember: You Remain Legally Responsible for the Lease Agreement 

If you do enter into a sublease agreement, you must understand that you remain fully bound by the terms and conditions of the original lease agreement. If the subtenant damages the premises, that individual is responsible to you for the damages, but you are fully responsible to the landlord for them. If the tenant doesn't pay you to repair damages, or something of a similar nature, you will still be responsible for compensating the landlord for damages. 

In conclusion, by coming to an essential understanding of each of the six elements of subleasing discussed with you here, you will be placed in the best position to understand how to go about subleasing out your rented home. You will also better understand your rights when a sublease is created. Moreover, you will have a clearer understanding of your obligations to the other parties to the comprehensive lease arrangement created by the primary lease and sublease agreements.

Jessica is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage, a leading company that provide Internet fax service services for individuals and businesses.

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